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Opinion

Days after the fight, the vice speaker of the Karnataka House was found dead

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The body of the vice president of the Karnataka Legislative Council, SL Dharmegowda, was found on the train tracks in the Gunasagar village of Kadur Taluk in the Chikmagalur district in the early hours of Tuesday, just two weeks after he was abused during a special council session.

According to the initial police investigation, Dharmegowda, 65, who belonged to the Janata Dal (Secular), appeared to have died by suicide, and an alleged death note found near his body was being examined.

Dharmegowda was at the center of a controversy in the state council, which met on December 15 for a one-day session, during which the JD (S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attempted to evict President Prathapchandra Shetty. Congress for introducing a motion of no confidence. Dharmegowda was mistreated when he tried to preside over the proceedings; Shetty then stepped in to reject the motion citing procedural flaws.

Former state prime minister HD Kumaraswamy suggested that the incident was the motive for the death, which he described as a “political assassination”.

“He was more than a brother to me. He was very hurt by the way some members treated him during the recent council proceedings and he felt humiliated. It is not a suicide, but a political murder ”, alleged Kumaraswamy.

Siddaramaiah rejected Kumaraswamy’s argument while condoning death. “Dharmegowda was a personal friend. His father Laksmaiah, who was a legislator, was well known to me; the whole family was close to me. You have to look at who made him sit (in the chair of the council president), ”said Siddaramaiah.

Police officers familiar with the initial investigation said the circumstances and the sequence of events that led to her death suggested that Dharmegowda ended her own life.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, they said Dharmegowda asked his officer and bodyguard not to accompany him as he left his home in Shakaryapatna in a Santro car with his driver on Monday night. They drove to Gunasagar, around 19 km away, around 6pm, and Dharmegowda later asked his driver, Dharmaraj, to wait at a distance because I had to meet someone. But then he changed his mind and asked the driver to come back.

The people quoted above said their last call was to a friend named Hemant during the call, Dharmegowda asked questions about train times.

When Dharmegowda did not return home in the evening, concerned family members alerted the authorities, who organized a search. By then his cell phone was off, but based on the latest signals from the cell tower, they searched and located his mutilated body on the Mankenahalli train tracks.

Police sent the body for an autopsy at McGann Hospital in Shivamogga, and Gowda was later buried at the Madagadakere family farm in Shakaryapatna.

Prime Minister BS Yediyurappa, the opposition leader in the Siddaramiah assembly, the President of the State Congress DK Shivakumar, and the leader of JD (S) and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda expressed their shock and condolences at the death of Dharmegowda.

Yediyurappa flew to Kadur to pay his last respects. “The entire state is shocked by the disappearance. I ask God to give his family strength to face this, ”he said.

Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda collapsed while speaking of Dharmegowda. “It is shocking to hear the news of the suicide of the vice president of the state legislative council and leader of JD (S), SL Dharmegowda. He was a quiet and decent man. This is a loss of state. “

Dharmegowda came from an influential political family. His father, SR Lakshmaiah, was a three-time MLA member of the Birur assembly constituency, and Dharmegowda also won that seat in 2004. His brother SL Bhojegowda is also an MLC.

Speaking to HT, Bhojegowda said: “There were no personal or financial reasons for him to take this extreme step. I was upset about what had happened [in the council]. I and other party leaders had told him not to take things seriously, since they are common in politics, but it seems that he took it very seriously.

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